Eatin’ in New Orleans 3

October 11, 2015 at 7:44 PM Leave a comment

Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina prevented our n-teenth visit to the Crescent City. This year, on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy we again returned to one of our favorite spots in America to enjoy the city, the people, the art, but most importantly, the food. Like always, we sampled some new, some old, some cheap and some expensive. Like always, we were happy with the results.

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a shrimp po’ boy from Johnny’s. This has historically been our lunch upon arriving and this trip was no different. The shrimp is plump, fresh and nicely breaded. This is a crowded place, usually with a line out the door. The fine folks behind the counter hustle and you’ll be enjoying their fare in moments. Trust us, it will be worth the short wait.

Shortly after their opening, we visited G W Fins. Despite recommending it to a number of people that were seeking seafood in the city, we hadn’t been back. We figured it was time to see if the quality was still maintained and whether we were right to recommend it. The good news is that the quality of their offerings has remained top notch. The menu changes daily, so it is difficult to suggest an option. We both elected to have the three-course prix fix menu. Michele enjoyed the drum and Jeff loved the wasabi crusted Wahoo. Neither of us could resist the gumbo appetizer and pecan pie dessert. On the negative side, this was (when opened) one of the more elegant rooms in the city. We felt totally comfortable dressing for dinner. Ten years has changed that and vacation-wear was very much in bloom. Too bad. A well dress crowd in a dining room with this much panache really can elevate a dinner.

Cochon has gone on to win a James Beard award and fully packed reservations since our first few visits years ago. This is such a popular spot now, no reservations were available for any evening during our stay. We decided on a late lunch and all of the past memories immediately sprang back…the rustic charm, the laid-back atmosphere, the sharp staff, and the food! We started by splitting a crawfish pie. The crust was flaky and the inside was filled with buttery crawfish. Them, thar’ is good eats! Michele LOVED her Oyster & Bacon Sandwich. In fact, she is still talking about it. Quickly breaded and fried oysters were served on white bread. It seems simple, but it had miles of flavor. Jeff ordered the Louisiana Cochon, pulled pork meat that has been clumped into a patty and quick fried to stabilize the shape. It was served with cabbage and cracklins. Without a doubt, Cochon remains one of the top three restaurants in New Orleans. (Bayona and Restaurant August are 1 & 2, if you’re interested!)

Because we ate a late lunch and the evening weather had turned nasty, we decided to try a new place right across the street from the hotel. Kingfish Kitchen & Cocktails occupies a perfectly positioned corner of Chartres and Conti. We’re not really cocktail people, but this is one cocktail menu that could have changed us. Instead, Michele enjoyed her bowl of Sportsman’s Gumbo and Jeff could not say enough good about the Rabbit Cordon Bleu. Next time, when we are real hungry, we’re going to try this place again. We might even have a cocktail…or two!

We have been waiting to try Peche, the seafood sister of Cochon. It recently won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef in the South. This is a seafood place, but seafood from the waters around the New Orleans area. Like Borgne, the John Besh seafood establishment on Loyola, Peche relies on local fish to supply the menu. Michele could not pass-up the Smothered Catfish. It was everything you imagine in a southern fish dish, tender, flavorful, exciting. Jeff really enjoyed his ceviche-type fish appetizer. All in all, it was good, but not in the same stratosphere as Cochon.

New Orleans food. Just thinking about it makes us search Expedia for flight costs and room rates. We keep coming back because it is like no other place in America. If you’re going to this engaging city, check the listing of places on our blog page and plan on over eating. It will be worth it. Diet when you get home but please, indulge when in New Orleans. You will remember the meals for a lifetime! 511 St. Louis Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-524-8129 808 Bienville Street New Orleans, LA 70112 504-581-3467 930 Tchoupitoulas Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-588-2123 335 Chartres Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-587-0908 800 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-322-1744

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